Health and Social Care Information Centre selects Capita as first commercial N3 aggregator for NHS


Move will enable third party organisations to supply services to multiple hospitals with greater efficiency, greater security and at a lower cost

The Health and Social Care Information Centre today announced that Capita Healthcare Decisions will become the first private sector partner able to connect new businesses and services to N3, the NHS internal private network and one of the largest in Europe.

Capita will play the role of aggregator, the only private sector firm currently permitted to do so, providing a highly-resilient, highly-secure connection to the network, which is used by all NHS organisations. This will enable third party organisations to supply services to individual or multiple hospitals, surgeries and clinics with greater efficiency, greater security and at lower cost than if connections had to be procured and delivered individually. Suppliers will still need to be sponsored by an NHS body, but Capita will now conduct the vetting and assessment process, ensuring that suppliers meet NHS standards of data security and IT resilience.

Andy Lockwood, managing director of Capita Healthcare Decisions, said: “N3 has long provided the infrastructure over which private clinical data can be accessed, shared or transferred, with appropriate safeguards, by and between NHS bodies. Widening access within the same governance framework over aggregated datacentre class connections creates opportunities for trusts to locate shared services on highly-resilient affordable infrastructure managed by specialists in 24x7 available clinical infrastructure”.

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“N3 can now become the enabler for more innovative IT solutions. These could include video and telehealth diagnostic tools or better access to patient health information, like scans, X-rays and blood tests, for GPs and even, where appropriate, for patients themselves. Capita’s highly-secure N3 connected infrastructure will also provide opportunities for smaller firms to supply the NHS without the need to go through a lengthy procurement delay or incur the costs and challenges involved in building and managing their own.”